Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Camilla Celati, an international executive & leadership coach, and consultant, based in London, England, United Kingdom.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
I am a global executive, leadership coach, and consultant whose goal is to help professionals become the leaders they aspire to be whilst staying loyal to their core identity and purpose. My typical clients are senior executives and rising stars from progressive and Fortune 100 organizations who know where they want to go and just need help getting there. Whether this is to strengthen their leadership style, find purpose, take their career to the next level, or design a leadership legacy that lasts.
Tell us about yourself
Following a fifteen-year stint in human resources and leadership development and having realized that my interest in people was actually their potential and how to let them express this freely and unapologetically, it became evident to me that I had to pivot and embrace a profession that would allow me to do that in the most compelling and effective way possible. Coaching was the answer to my need then and my passion today.
I tend to say that my work doesn't feel like work. It's a vocation for me, with a deep sense of meaning attached to it. My motivation for doing what I do is intrinsic and re-affirmed every time I help somebody to progress more confidently toward their career objectives and personal aspirations.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
Being able to do work every day that I deeply love and have built an exciting practice that now operates across five continents and serves exceptionally bright and talented professionals from different cultural paths, languages, and traditions who want to drive positive change in organizations and communities they lead and support.
What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?
I would say the constant uncertainty that characterizes the life of a business owner. It can be draining and pretty stressful feeling not in control of your finances and business growth. Diligence, self-care, and rigor are essential qualities to master in solo entrepreneurship. And yet, sometimes, it's only your strength of character that keeps you going. Going solo is not a walk in the park, but at the same time, it has the potential to become the best journey you will ever be in your life.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- Understand your "why" to start a business: Why is this important to you, and why now? What impact do you want to make through it? What feelings do you associate with the idea of going solo (i.e., joy, anxiety, excitement, you don't know yet)? Knowing yourself and what really drives this choice can make a huge difference in your success and longevity as a solo entrepreneur.
- Connect with people that have been through this before you. They will never be able to tell you what it feels like; that is a part you will have, unfortunately, to figure out yourself. However, those contacts could be incredibly valuable for sharing knowledge about a specific industry/sector you are interested in, putting you in touch with a meaningful network
offering clarity around the hard and soft skills required in that domain.
- Be curious and open to any opportunities, especially at the beginning. As you grow your business, you will naturally learn what your new professional identity is, what type of work excites you the most, in which direction you want to expand your business, and so forth. At the start, however, accepting any opportunities coming your way, even those that sound not pertinent, will provide you with good experience, an appreciation of how to use your skills in clever ways, and the chance to build relationships that may open unexpected and very exciting opportunities for you along the way.
Where can people find you and your business?
If you like what you've read here and have your own story as a solo or small business entrepreneur that you'd like to share, then please answer these interview questions. We'd love to feature your journey on these pages.
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